Welp, Maybe Not

Today was therapy day. I say “was” because, well, the appointment started four minutes ago. You’ll note that I’m apparently not in my therapist’s office. There’s a reason for that.

Long story short, my back went out this morning trying to get out of bed. I’ve been on the heating pad ever since, and only moving around the apartment when absolutely necessary.

We’ve rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon, so I’ll have stuff to report then.

In the meantime, I’m going to write something kinda brief about how days like today (this has happened before and will almost certainly happen again) affect my daily activities.

The Four Agreements is a best-selling self-help book by Don Miguel Ruiz (has it really been 20 years since this book came out?), and it’s a good read. I recommend it if you haven’t read it before, it goes quickly and it has some gems in it. The fourth Agreement is to “always do your best.” This is further described as follows:

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to when you are sick.

So the bottom line is, I’m going to do my best, but that won’t be the same as what it would be if I wasn’t in a lot of pain.

It’s not a big change from what I normally do, but my exercise is radically altered. I’ve recently traded in laps of the apartment complex for trips down and back up the stairs outside. Three round trips of the stairs have me huffing and puffing far more than a leisurely stroll around the block, as it were, plus I feel it in my legs FAR more than I do while walking. One of these days, soon I hope, I’m going to shoot for five, but my legs are getting wobbly after just three trips and I always wonder if I can make four, so I stop there. On a day like today where I have persistent back pain, that gets reduced to two or even one trip up and down the stairs. It’s not much – it’s honestly barely anything at all – but it gets me out moving and doing something strenuous, for as long as my body will let me.

My to-do list is also cut down to size, and done in short bursts of activity in order to minimize the time I’m away from the heating pad. Where I’d normally be deep cleaning the kitchen, taking out the trash, cycling through our refrigerated water jugs as they need to be refilled, cycling the dishwasher from clean to dirty dishes, dusting, and straightening up the living room (as an example) today I’m likely going to just cycle the water jugs and clean the litter box and call it a day. (Fortunately much of that exemplar list has been done recently, so my list is thankfully pretty small today. If new things arise, however, I’ll likely delegate those things off to my wife or just hold off on them until tomorrow.)

Fortunately there are a lot of things on my checklist that can be done sitting right here on my heating pad, so there’s not a lot that needs to be altered. But things were bad enough this morning that I needed the heating pad for a good half hour before I felt okay enough to stand on my feet long enough to do my dental hygiene this morning.

The important thing is that a day like this, while a real nuisance and a very painful experience, isn’t enough to keep me from accomplishing full marks on my checklist. It would take me being bedridden at this point for me to break this streak, and fortunately I’m not quite to the point that I need to stay in bed. (Lying down actually exacerbates the problem, so I’m doing what’s best for my body by sitting on the couch with the heating pad on my back, waiting for the next round of Aleve to kick in.)

Tomorrow will be better. I have spoken.

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